Examining the role of design reflection and associated brain dynamics in creativity

PI: Manish Saggar


Design reflection has been shown of critical import for the development of design expertise. Yet, we know little about how design reflection affects creative performance in individuals and teams. Previous researchers limited the study of reflection to the domain of language used and its reference to the design problem or solution space. Further, previous work on design reflection did not take into account the arch-nemesis of reflection – rumination, which is shown to negatively effect creativity and problem solving. In this proposal, we plan to address these limitations by (1) assessing the effects of different types of reflection on creative performance; (2) going beyond the frontier of language (or speech) and additionally investigating the role of brain and interaction dynamics during reflection; and (3) including psychological construct of rumination in addition to reflection. We hypothesize that given the critical import of reflection in design thinking, our approach will provide a comprehensive understanding of the interplay between design reflection, brain dynamics and creativity. This understanding has the potential to impact the way we teach reflection to design students, and to inform the development of novel tools and methods for reflection by design teams in industry as well as academia.